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Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability

Progress Report: Legislature Ends Vehicle License Plate Seizure Pilot Program Due to Error Rate, Driver Inconvenience, Report No. 02-35, June 2002
Full report in PDF format

  • To help address the problem of uninsured motorists, the 1995 Legislature directed the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) to conduct a pilot program in three counties.  This pilot program authorized licensed recovery agents to remove the license plates from vehicles whose owners had not maintained required insurance.  The 1999 Legislature amended the law to allow the program to be expanded if certain conditions were met.  One of those conditions was that OPPAGA verify that the error rate for valid license plates seized by recovery agents was 2% or less.
  • In our December 2000 review, we reported that the error rate for seized license plates was 34.8%. Consequently, the criteria for expanding the pilot program had not been met.
  • Our prior review recommended that the Legislature abolish the pilot program because of the consistently high error rate, the department’s belief that it will be unable to reduce the error rate to the level required by law, and the inconvenience to drivers whose plates are seized in error. Consistent with our recommendations, the Legislature did not pass legislation to authorize the pilot program’s continuation.  As a result, the law authorizing the pilot project will be repealed on July 1, 2002.

What were our earlier findings?

Report No. 00-25 Program Review: License Plate Seizure Program’s Error Rate Still High; Program Should Be Abolished, published in December 2000.

Which Government Program Summaries contain related information?

Motorist Services

What other OPPAGA-related materials are available?

  • Report No.97-20 Follow-up Report on the Uninsured Motorist Program Administered by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, published in December 1997.
  • Report No.95-15 Review of the Uninsured Motorist Program, published in December 1995.

Copies of this report in print or alternate accessible format may be obtained by telephone (850/488-0021), by FAX (850/487-9213), in person, or by mail (OPPAGA Report Production, Claude Pepper Building, Room 312, 111 W. Madison St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-1475).
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